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Golf Terms - Letter "I"

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Golf Terminology - 'I'


improved lie - (aka: "improved lies", "improving your lie", "preferred lies", "winter rules", "bumping it", "using your foot wedge") changing the position of the ball making either the swing path cleaner or making it easier to hit the ball. Unless agreed upon by players before hand or part of local/seasonal rules this is illegal and penalty strokes may apply.


in - (aka: "back", "back nine", "back side") the last nine holes of an eighteen hole golf course. Derived from old Scottish links style courses where the first nine holes took you out far away from the clubhouse and the last nine holes brought you back 'in'. Example: "I shot a poor 48 on the way out but improved to 41 on the way back in."


in play - anytime the golf ball is considered 'live' or 'playable'. Unless the ball is out of play the ball must be in play.

Important golf terms for beginners

inside - a term used to describe the fact that one ball is closer to the hole than the other. Usually on the putting surface. Example: "Megan hit a great shot into the green that looked like it would sew things up but I got inside her to make it interesting."


inside-out - describing the a golfers swing where the club begins the downswing close to the body and finishes further away than usually desired (i.e. inside and outside the target line). Example: "Often I find that the reason a person is hooking the ball is because they are swinging inside-out."


interlocking grip - (aka: "interlock grip") the standard and most popular grip in golf. The index finger of the top hand is interlocked with the pinky of the lower hand while both thumbs point down the shaft of the club.


intermediate target - a target established by the in between the ball and the ultimate target. Usually the intermediate target is relatively close to the ball so as to assist in properly lining up without lifting the head too much. Also any time you aim at something other than what you are really trying to get to (i.e. a tree that you can see from behind a hill or mound when you cannot see the flagstick).


iron - a club whose clubhead is typically constructed of steel although the shaft can be of another substance. The clubhead of an iron is usually fairly narrow with a small sole. Typical lofts are between 16° and 65° and the clubs are numbed 1 through a 9 and include all wedges. Woods and putters are not irons. Example: "I have three woods and nine irons in my bag - plus my putter."

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